After the big release hype, Hyundai has now announced that it’s recalling nearly twelve thousand of its 2020 Nexo and Sonata vehicles. The recall is due to a problem with the Smart Park system of the vehicles. The innovative parking-assist software can cause unintentional vehicle movement, which could potentially lead to unpredictable consequences. The problem is apparently causing the recall of thousands of vehicles for software reprogramming of their Remote Smart Parking Assist technology.
The New Smart Park System Was Supposed to Park the Vehicle By Itself
The “Smart Park” tech is supposed to allow the Hyundai vehicles to park themselves, even in tight spaces. The entire procedure does not require a driver sitting behind the wheel and is controlled by a push of a button inside the car, right before the driver exits it. There is also an option that allows the driver to remote-control the parking function. The recall notice says that the feature may cause the vehicle to move without orders, which could cause an accident.
The Smart Park System Was Advertised During the Super Bowl
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the issue is caused by an error in the software programming, causing the vehicle to keep moving in its last set direction. The error would occur even if the software detects that the system is malfunctioning.
So far, Hyundai has reported no injuries or accidents as a direct result of the issue, which the company vows to fix at no charge in June. Owners of the 2020 Hyundai Nexo or Sonata can check the NHTSA website to see if their vehicle is among the problematic ones.
The smart park technology that caused the recall of the Sonata and Nexo models was advertised during the Super Bowl, which makes the situation an even more expensive blunder. Fortunately, not all vehicles are affected by the issues, and Hyundai has acted quickly to resolve the problem for its clients.
Senators Demand Legislation to Mandate Driver-Monitoring Tech
After a fatal Tesla car crash in Texas last week, US Senators have proposed legislation on Monday that mandates all new cars in the country to integrate driver-monitoring tech. Two of the legislation’s sponsors, Richard Blumenthal (D-Mass) and Ed Markey (D-Conn), recently addressed a letter to federal regulators expressing concern.
Reports are unclear about how the 2019 Tesla Model S crashed at high speed while in Houston’s residential neighborhood. The police report has summarized that neither of the two passengers present in the car was in the driver’s seat. One of them occupied the front passenger seat while another sat in the rear.
Inclusion of driver-monitoring systems
The incident has drawn more attention to the age-old debate of integrating driver-monitoring systems in automated cars. A few of the car manufacturers are already leading the way. Cadillac’s Super Cruise model already uses a driver-facing camera which verifies if the driver has eyes on the road. While drivers can take their hands off the wheel, it activates when they are not looking at the road and issues warnings before eventually disengaging.
However, cars manufactured by Tesla have a much more basic driver engagement management system. It uses a torque sensor on the steering wheel that drivers can easily bypass by attaching a weight. Also, the sensor does not ensure that the driver has their eyes on the road.
Cars will have mandated driver monitoring by 2027
Many safety advocates argue that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems can be risky without the legislation. Over the past five years, four total deaths because of automated driving assistance.
According to the national highway traffic safety administration, there are an estimated 3000 deaths annually.
The Markey/Blumenthal bill, which is also co-sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar, would require the drafting of rules that need all vehicles to have driver monitoring systems.
If passed, every new car will have to adapt to a version with the technology over the next six years. A hearing has been scheduled for the bill by the House of Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.